Cardiology is one of the medical specialities that is benefitting the most from the advances in Internet Medicine in treatment of heart disease.   Not only is there now an ability to monitor a patient’s vital signs and heart rhythms remotely, but there is also the creation of fantastic medical devices, such as the Vscan, and ViSi. The Vscan allows the cardiologist to easily visualize the patients heart valves at the bedside. And, since many of the clinical decisions of the cardiologist is based on data, it is a boon that these data are available anywhere, anytime. No longer does the busy CCU nurse have to be tied up reciting data over the phone to the cardiologist, but the cardiologist can directly be able to monitor the patient from their iPad, iPhone.

The Vscan

The Vscan is a portable, hand-held device, which has taken the place of the stethoscope for auscultating heart sounds. Suspicious heart sound lead a cardiologist to order an echo of the heart, but what better than being able to directly visualize the valves at the bedside, and order an echo if needed? See how a Vscan functions in the following video:

Remote Monitoring

Recently, in August of 2012, the ViSi, a vital signs, and pulse oximeter monitor, was approved by the FDA to monitor patients in non-CCU, ICU settings. It is simply a matter of time either this device, or  a similar device be approved to perform the same tasks, in home settings. This would allow the cardiologist to occasionally follow the problematic, chronically ill CHF, COPD, or patients with chronic rhythm problemsat  while they are at home. Having these data in real time, would allow the cardiologist to make better decision, as to whether or not, that the patient needs to be seen or sent to the hospital immmediately, or can safely be monitored from home. This would greatly help both overall health care, and cut down on healthcare costs, since it is a well-known fact in healthcare circles that the chronic diseases of CHF, COPD, and diabetes constitute a major cost of healthcare in the USA. 

Also, there has been a big improvement on the use of the Holter monitor, for long-term, remote monitoring of hearth rhythms. The iRhythm now takes the Holter’s place. It is a device that is lightweight, can be worn for 14 days, and allows for transmission of the cardiac rhythm in real-time to the cardiologist’s internet device, or to his office. Again, this allows for more efficient, effective treatment for a possible electrical rhythm disturbance of the heart.
Wireless Sensors can also be implanted in the heart, to give real-time readings, and allow for remote monitoring of vital cardiac parameters wirelessly. See the following video which explains this technology, use and healthcare cost savings:


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